Keeper of the Locks

This morning we had a delicious family breakfast together, thanks to our hosts, Dennis and Helen, at Glen Albyn Lodge before heading out on our bikes.

Since it is only an 8 mile ride, mostly along canal tow paths, we were in no hurry. A short day was greatly appreciated after our marathon day yesterday.

glen albyn pic

Our hosts recommended a shortcut to get us back on route quickly and avoid some road riding.  Once we were back on the route, the first few miles were dirt roads and single track before leading to canal path for the second half of the day’s journey.

We detoured back up the canal path slightly in order to swim in the second of three lochs, Loch Oich. The sun wasn’t out to warm us up after dipping in cold water, but it wasn’t raining at least!

Between the end of Loch Oich and Fort Augustus, the path crossed the canal. The lock keeper grumbled a bit about us staying off the grass beside the lock, because they were filming a tele show there the following week. He turned out to be a nice guy, though, letting the bairns (Maddie and Ian) open and close the lock gate while a boat was passing through.


Afterwards, Ian and I rode ahead a bit, and he entertained me with stories from the sports camp he recently attended. Suddenly though, he lost his balance and crashed in the middle of the path. Bad news – I never heard the end of the story. Good news – despite being frustrated about crashing, he bounced back quickly and resumed riding with good spirits following shortly after. He also held a sense of pride about his tally of crashes, which I believe at that point was 3, with 2 big ones and 2 small “half” crashes. The rest of us were content with him owning that crown.

Just around the corner was Fort Augustus. Upon arrival, we ditched the bikes at the B&B then got lunch and drinks at the The Lock Inn.

It was still too early to check in to our B&Bs, so we wandered around town, seeing the sights and checking out gift shops. Per the recommendation of our hosts last night, we made dinner reservations at The Boat House, which is perched right at the mouth of Loch Ness.

After getting into our room, we saw the Lord of the Glen passing through the locks, so I went out to investigate.

After dinner, we spent a little more time wandering around town before settling into our rooms for the night.

Fort Augustus is a lovely little village; I wish we could have spent more time there! Tomorrow, we will have our most difficult, but perhaps most rewarding day of riding, up through the hills above Loch Ness!

4 thoughts on “Keeper of the Locks”

  1. The pictures in the early evening came out so well!! Keep the posts coming, Chris; it’s inspiring M&I to write in their journals!

    1. Glad you like the pictures 🙂 I’m also glad our posts are inspiring/motivating the kids to keep up with their journals – we have the posts written out but just need to find the time to plug in pictures, check back tomorrow for more! Hope you guys had a great time for the rest of the trip and a safe, uneventful trip home.

    1. Absolutely – the mysterious water from the Loch makes great beer. I tried the Hoppy Ness, which didn’t disappoint!

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